FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONSRevolutionary PressureLess Deck Cleaning & Preservation System™ - Call Us Toll Free: 1-888-903-3257
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Check out our Frequently Asked Questions to see if others have had the same kinds of questions you do. If not, feel free to contact us!
What is DeckMaster™ PressureLess cleaning system?
A: Our wood renewal system consists of using a very low water pressure cleaning method based on a patented chemical process. It not only cleans the wood but also removes old failed stains and sealers. It also kills mold and mildew and restores the honey wood tone unlike pure power washing. The wood is also neutralized and brightened to balance the PH and prepare the surface for a proper bonding of the new finish. Learn more about the PressureLess Cleaning & Preservation System.™
Is the chemical used safe?
A: Yes. Our DeckMaster™ patented chemical process is based of a sodium per-carbonate solution with natural active ingredients which is safe and non-toxic. It will not damage the wood surface or the grass and plants that may surround it.
Do I have to clean my deck prior to applying a stain or sealer?
A: Absolutely. One of the most common mistakes is to apply a stain or sealer to a dirty deck surface. Even if the deck is relatively new, there are certain types of wood that require cleaning. That’s why it is very important that we perform a wood evaluation to determine if cleaning is necessary even if it’s new wood. If there’s an existing stain/sealer, this has to be completely stripped prior to re-applying a new finish. Failure to do this may cause undesired results and wood damage.
I applied a sealer/stain in the past. Do I have to strip it prior to re-applying another coat?
A: It depends on the finish you applied. 95% of stains/sealers need to be stripped prior to re-applying another coat. There are only a few products that don’t require this procedure. A light cleaning to etch the surface is all that is necessary. At DeckMaster™ we only use re-coatable premium stains, which help minimize the maintenance cost in the future. It is important to have a professional evaluation to find out if stripping is necessary. We provide free evaluations and price estimates.
I recently moved to my house. How do I know if my deck was sealed/stained?
A: Trying to find out if a deck has been treated in the past may become tricky. Unless the wood has an obvious finish on it only a professional can determine if the wood has been sealed. Things are not always what they seem. That’s why it is important to have a professional evaluation. You also have to determine how old the stain/sealer is if applicable. One way to find out if a deck has been sealed or stained is to pour a little bit of water on an area of the deck and see if the water beads up. If it does, then it probably has a sealer on it and must be stripped completely.
Does power washing remove stains or sealers?
A: No. Power washing by itself will only blast off the dirt from the wood surface. Too much pressure will also raise the grain of the wood and cause splintering and severe damage. 80% of decks today are sealed or stained. Therefore, power washing alone is not recommended in most cases. Re-sealing the wood without stripping the old sealer will create a heavy build up of finishes that will prevent the wood to breath and the moisture to escape. This will lead to permanent wood damage such as cracking, splintering or warping. Your wood may also turn dark grey or black.
If power washing is not safe for the wood, then why is it so common/popular?
A: In the same way that the tobacco industry is very popular – it doesn’t mean it is good for your health. Power washing technology has been available for decades and there are even national power washing associations specializing in this field. However, there only a few companies who understand the real meaning of power washing. If not used properly it may cause irreversible damage to the wood. Technology is getting better & better everyday. At DeckMaster™ we take advantage of the latest technology using our revolutionary patented chemical washing system and state of the art equipment to avoid the use of high pressure washing. Our process will not cause irreversible damage like pressure washing. Make no mistake, the results will surprise you!
Can I clean my deck with bleach?
A: It is definitely not recommended. Even though bleach will kill fungus and other bacteria, it will also bleach the natural color of the wood. In addition, bleach will suck the moisture out of the wood and dry the surface which will eventually result in wood damage. Most deck cleaners that are sold in local stores have bleach in them.
What’s the difference between a stain and a sealer?
A: Most sealers will only provide water repellency with limited UV protection. Water sealers will normally let the wood naturally grey out within 3-6 months due to the lack of pigments and UV inhibitors. On the other hand, stains will not only provide water resistance, but also have UV protection, mildew and fade resistance, and have a higher opacity. Because of these facts, stains last up to 5 times longer than sealers and look more professional. However, applying a stain requires special skills. At DeckMaster™ our technicians are fully trained and use airless spraying equipment to obtain the most uniform finish possible. Unless you like the grey appearance you should never use a clear sealer.
What is an airless sprayer and why is it better than using a brush or roller?
A: An airless sprayer is a piece of high pressure paint spraying equipment. The advantages of using this tool are that it will provide a professional uniform finish in the same way that a painter sprays a car. It will also spray hard to reach areas that no roller or brush will be able to reach. You can also control the amount of product applied to obtain as many coats as desired in one time. Because of these facts we are able to apply 2 coats in a matter of minutes, not hours. This allows us to maintain our low prices while standing above the competition in quality of service and durability. Special skills are required to use this type of equipment. At DeckMaster™ our technicians are fully trained and certified.
Should I apply a sealer or a stain to the wood?
A: It all depends on what your objective is. Have you ever heard of the term “you get what you pay for?” Well that’s exactly what it means. As we mentioned above, stains will achieve a more professional finish and last up to 5 times longer than sealers. The price of course may be slightly higher than using sealers since more specialty skills are required and the results are 3 times more professional. However, it will be the best investment you can make since you will not only save money in the long term & avoid severe wood damage, but will also achieve a more professional result.
How long does a stain last?
A: That depends on the brand name and the type of stain used. Just as there are different vehicle types there are also a wide variety of stains. Stains are divided into 3 categories as follows: clear, semi-transparent, and solid stains. The rule of thumb is, the more opaque the finish is the more protection it will provide and the longer it will last.
How long do you have to wait after the cleaning to apply a sealer/stain?
A: We recommend between 24-48 hours depending on the weather to let the wood dry completely. The wood moisture content must be no greater than 20% in most cases. If a finish is applied when the moisture content is higher than this, the finish will not penetrate properly and the quality and durability of the stain may be jeopardized. There are also some products, however, that can be applied the very same day of cleaning.
Do stains look glossy?
A: No. Most stains will have a matte translucent finish. If you want a shiny look then you have to use a different product such as “Sikkens Cethol Dek,” which will give your deck or fence a similar look to stained furniture. We normally don’t recommend glossy/shiny stains since the application and maintenance is very expensive. However, we can apply glossy stains for those that are willing to pay the increased price for additional maintenance. The durability of glossy stains is not much different than that of matte translucent finishes.
How often should I clean my deck?
A: The frequency of deck cleaning depends on the cleaning method and the previous preservative used. Proper surface preparation is a must to ensure that the quality of whatever preservative you previously used is not jeopardized. The type of preservative used will also determine its durability. At DeckMaster™ you can be confident that we will not only provide you with the best cleaning system, but we will also use the best stains available in the industry to ensure a professional job. We recommend cleaning and re-staining your deck every 2 years when a clear stain is used and 3-4 years when a semi-transparent or solid stain is applied. It is ultimately the customer’s decision on which type of stain to use based on their taste.
When is the best time of the year to clean my deck?
A: As long as the temperature is above the freezing point then it doesn’t matter when you choose to clean your deck. We perform cleanings in the spring, summer and fall between March and November in most cases. There’s no rule of thumb as to when exactly is an acceptable time to do it, as long as you act as soon as possible. Both summer and winter seasons can cause severe damage if the wood is unprotected and exposed to the elements. If the wood is unprotected, more damage will be caused the longer you wait and it will be more expensive to restore.
I just installed a new pressure treated lumber deck. Should I stain it?
A: No. Pressure treated lumber comes with a mill glaze from the factory which is a chemical component to protect the wood. You have to let the wood weather naturally for about six months prior to applying any kind of preservative. This weathering process will break down the wood’s natural oils enough to open the pores of the wood allowing the preservative to penetrate the surface. Failure to do this may result in wood damage and undesired results. However, at DeckMaster™ we can speed up the weathering process with our PressureLess cleaning system. Our chemicals will break down the natural oils allowing you to stain your deck right away.
My deck has been power washed many times and is very damaged, what can I do about it?
A: At DeckMaster™ we have 3 different packages to meet every customers’ needs. The restore package includes the hammering and belt sanding of all horizontal surfaces. This process will remove the dried out wood fibers to smooth the wood surface. We use the strongest grid sand papers to fix most common surface damages. While sanding will not completely fix some woods due to the extensive damage, it will make a considerable improvement.
If I decide to clean the deck myself, which cleaner should I use?
A: Although it is possible to adequately clean your deck on your own, trying to save a few dollars by doing it yourself may become a headache. Based on previous bad experiences from some of our customers, we never recommend cleaning your deck yourself unless you know for sure what you’re doing. Cleaning a deck may be more complicated that it seems. There are a lot of factors that play an important role in the process. Every deck has its own unique type of finger print. Special care must be practiced to ensure a professional job. There are a wide variety of do-it-yourself wood cleaners available in local hardware stores. Most of these cleaners contain bleach which may dry out the wood and cause eventual damage. In addition, most of these products will not strip old stains or sealers. If using a pressure washer you also have to ensure that low pressure is used to avoid severe wood damage. At DeckMaster™ we know what it takes to achieve a professional job, and consider every deck to be unique. Our revolutionary deck renewal system, also known as the PressureLess Cleaning System P.L.C.S™, will restore the natural beauty of wood without causing any damage, regardless of the wood’s condition.
When shopping around, what things should I look for?
A: First, you have to determine the appearance you desire. Then, just make sure that the cleaning process used will not damage the wood surface. The cleaning process must strip any existing old finishes and restore the natural honey wood tone followed by neutralizing the PH to bring out the natural beauty of the wood and prepare the surface to ensure proper bonding of the new finish. The finish must be a clear or semi-transparent stain with water resistance, high opacity, and extreme UV protection to ensure a professional finish and durability. Even though some stains only require one coat, a second quick coat can achieve better results and wood protection. This can be accomplished by using a high quality airless sprayer. The use of this equipment can also help achieve a more uniform look and avoid missing spots or blotches. Proper masking is necessary to avoid getting the finish on the siding or other areas around the house, which is the number one complaint among our customers who have worked with other companies. At DeckMaster™ our priority is to educate our customers, not sell them on a service.
How much difference in cost is DeckMaster™ compared to power washing?
A: Actually because DeckMaster™ lasts longer and ensures no wood damage it costs a lot less than pressure washing in the long run. Most pressure washers quote very low prices, but don’t get fooled by cheap prices. Even though power washing can obtain very quick results you have to think in the long term. In other words, one of the reasons power washing is very popular is because it will offer you a quick fix. Unfortunately, a lot of dissatisfied customers don’t realize the damage until a few months later. By this time, most of these companies are out of business or most customers simply don’t take action against them because they realize the price they paid justifies the poor job. At DeckMaster™ we have the best prices available in the area. We even have a price match guarantee to give you peace of mind that you are not just getting the best job possible but the best price available. The only condition is that we must receive a written estimate guaranteeing the same quality of work and products using a low pressure system similar to DeckMaster™. So far, no company has beaten our prices or quality of service yet.
Why should I choose DeckMaster™?
A: There are many reasons to choose DeckMaster™ for your next deck or fence cleaning, sealing or staining project. We will offer you a personalized professional service that utilizes the best cleaning system available. Our unique cleaning process combined with the best quality stains and professional application will ensure the longest results. You can rest assured that you are not only getting the best value, but the best quality of work possible. At DeckMaster™ we use state of the art equipment and a unique chemical process to ensure high quality work and to help us achieve a professional job in half the time. Therefore, we pass on those savings to customers and focus not on one single job but on high volume. This way we can cut our prices down and still provide you with a professional service. We are so confident about our system that we guarantee against any structure or color damage to your wood. We even offer a price match guarantee to ensure you are not only getting the best service possible, but the best price available. We believe every deck is unique and therefore a wood evaluation must be made to ensure that the correct cleaning procedure is followed to achieve the best results. So the bottom line is this, our goal is to educate our customers and help them decide and make a wise decision. An educated customer is a better customer.
DeckMaster™ provides high quality deck & fence cleaning, sealing, construction and repair services in Montgomery County, Maryland: Gaithersburg, Germantown, Darnestown, Potomac, Bethesda, Rockville, Kensington, Chevy Chase, Wheaton, Silver Spring, Aspen Hill, Colesville, Boyds, Damascus, Clarksburg, Montgomery Village, Laytonsville, Burtonsville, Ashton, Poolsville. Frederick County, Maryland: Frederick, Mount Airy, Urbana. Fairfax County, Virginia: Mclean, Vienna, Reston, Falls Church, Arlington, Herdon, Alexandria, Fairfax, Springfield & Washington D.C.